Mathematical Biology at the University of Utah

Research Experience for Undergraduates

Mathematical Biology 2009-2010 [Please note that we are no longer taking applications.]

The Mathematical Biology program at the University of Utah will be conducting a mathematical biology research project for undergraduates during the academic year.

We are looking for 2 math majors and 2 biology majors who are interested in working together in an interdisciplinary group. Prior programming experience will be beneficial but is not necessary for your participation.

Program Details

Mathematics and Disease


Emerging and re-emerging infections are a way of life. Just look at the influenza pandemic we are in right now! The swine flu virus and other nasty bugs need to be studied so that we can understand their biology, diagnose them, make vaccines and stop them in their tracks. What happens when we study these bugs in laboratories? Is there even a remote chance that the Ebola virus would be released accidentally? What would happen if there were a laboratory accident with SARS? Would the laboratory worker get sick? Would the population living near the laboratory be affected by anthrax work within the laboratory? All of these and many more questions can be addressed using modeling. Join the biodefense team that is looking at the safe operation of special laboratories.

Starting with mathematical models familiar to students with backgrounds including either introductory differential equations, ecology, or both, we will develop the essential concepts of mathematical epidemiology. You will have guided experience in reading and evaluating published literature in the area of infectious diseases modeling.

This is your chance to develop new skills and learn to work individually and collaboratively to tackle a problem of national significance!

If you are interested in studying a fascinating biological system and learning how mathematics can be used to further biological understanding, this REU is for you!

Applicants must be US Citizens, Nationals, or Permanent Residents.

Participants will be paid for their research.

To apply, submit the application form and one letter of recommendation to Kathleen Moore (LCB 214) by September 4, 2009.

A completed application will consist of:

  • Application Form
  • Letter of Recommendation (Have either a mathematics or biology faculty member who is familiar with your work write a letter on your behalf. Please have the faculty member send the letter directly to Kathleen Moore. Emailing the letter is fine (

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